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Screenshot of retrojam4
Author:ericw, FifthElephant, ItEndsWithTens, PulSaR, TextFish, Scampie, Skacky, Zwiffle
Title:Retro Jam 4 - Episode 4 Tribute Theme (371ebed5cc069729b49dcefdbc824b93)
Filesize:7618 Kilobytes
Release date:01.11.2015
Additional Links: Func_Msgboard
Type:Partial conversion
BSP: ✔ • PAK: ✘ • PROGS.DAT: ✘ • Custom Models/Sounds: ✘

Files in the ZIP archive
Files in the ZIP archive:
File Size Date
docs/retrojam4_fifth.txt2 KB31.10.2015
docs/retrojam4_skacky.txt2 KB01.11.2015
docs/retrojam4_tens.txt2 KB31.10.2015
docs/retrojam4_textfish.txt1 KB31.10.2015
maps/retrojam4_ericw.bsp774 KB31.10.2015
maps/retrojam4_fifth.bsp1257 KB31.10.2015
maps/retrojam4_fifth.lit635 KB31.10.2015
maps/retrojam4_pulsar.bsp2554 KB01.11.2015
maps/retrojam4_pulsar.lit881 KB01.11.2015
maps/retrojam4_scampie.bsp446 KB29.10.2015
maps/retrojam4_scampie.lit303 KB29.10.2015
maps/retrojam4_skacky.bsp4009 KB01.11.2015
maps/retrojam4_tens.bsp941 KB31.10.2015
maps/retrojam4_textfish.bsp2377 KB01.11.2015
maps/retrojam4_zwiffle.bsp1440 KB31.10.2015
maps/retrojam4_zwiffle.lit350 KB31.10.2015
quake.rc2 KB01.11.2015
retrojam4_readme.txt3 KB01.11.2015
source/retrojam4_ericw.jmf903 KB31.10.2015
source/retrojam4_ericw.map361 KB31.10.2015
source/retrojam4_fifth.map594 KB31.10.2015
source/retrojam4_pulsar.jmf5497 KB01.11.2015
source/retrojam4_scampie.map86 KB29.10.2015
source/retrojam4_skacky.map2762 KB01.11.2015
source/retrojam4_tens.map459 KB31.10.2015
source/retrojam4_textfish.map754 KB01.11.2015
source/retrojam4_zwiffle.map504 KB31.10.2015

Retro Jam 4 - Episode 4 Tribute Theme

Four-day 'retro' map jam following an Episode 4 tribute theme. The result is eight small, dark and brutal levels by various authors. The map sources are included.

Tags: small, medieval, bricks, traps, source, dark, spawns, creepy, hard, blue, e4, medium, green, mapjam, halloween

Editor's Rating: Nice
User Rating:
4/5 with 41 ratings
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negke Registered 2 November 2015, 10:47

Tip: Delete the .lit files, particularly the one for Zwiffle's map - otherwise it'll be way too dark.

MikeTaylor Registered 3 November 2015, 12:22

Sandy's Hollow (retrojam4_fifth) -- Fifth Elephant.

Played on hard, finished with 50/59 kills and 2/3 secrets. Hard means "hard" here, and I had to backtrack at the end to get health and armour for the final battle. Fun, but not particularly beautiful or inventive by modern standards. (And who ever came up with the idea that nail-traps are fun? Seriously.)

I would score this at 3/5 in isolation.

onetruepurple Registered 3 November 2015, 12:57

Why the fuck are you complaining about modern standards or nail traps in a RETRO JAM themed after EPISODE 4?

MikeTaylor Registered 3 November 2015, 16:29

A fine question (if an unnecessarily aggressively posed one).

It all depends on what we mean by "retro". I don't think that the mappers who contributed to this pack interpreted it as "back down to the standards of what ID did in 1996". I think what they will have been aiming for is to invoke the same feeling in 2015 that the 1996 maps gave us when we first saw them back then. But doing that now means reaching modern standards.

Now I certainly don't intend any criticism of the awesome work that these guys are doing -- especially as regards maps that were thrown together in four days. But I've seen better work from Fifth in the past (as my comments and scores on earlier jams and retrojams show), and my comments on this one reflect that.

After all, if we just wanted Q1E4, we could play Q1E4. These mappers are trying to give us something new, something better than that. To some extent, Sandy's Hollow succeeds -- but it's not its author's best work. (And yes, for my money, the nail-traps are part of the reason for that.)

MikeTaylor Registered 3 November 2015, 16:38

As it happens, The Elder God Palace of Despair (retrojam4_pulsar) is a great example of what I love to see in a retrojam level: an invocation of the old Quake that is noticeably superior to it. In mashing up three or four of the more memorable E4 maps, it gives an experience that is both nostalgic and fresh. I really enjoyed this, and would have loved to see it stretched out even more to cover elements from all the E4 maps.

Score: 4/5.

FifthElephant Registered 4 November 2015, 1:44

Mike has certainly scored some of my previous maps higher and it's not an issue that he scored this one low, he's entitled to his own opinion.

My own views on this map is that I threw it together in 2 days and I had a blast making it. Personally I'm happier with this map than the ones Mike scored higher, sandy's hollow isn't a showpiece map like some of my others and I never intended it to be. But it's one of the most well-rounded gameplay maps I've made IMO and I was content with how it looked. :)

Carry on!

imo Guest 4 November 2015, 10:07

all your maps suck a bit. imo.

MikeTaylor Registered 4 November 2015, 10:26

I Have No Ammo and I Must Scream (retrojam4_scampie) is an oddity, but an enjoyable one. I admit I ran straight past the spawns into the end-of-level teleporter, I have no appetite for taking those little sods on with only an axe! It's nice to see something completely different done with Quake, but perhaps the extreme shortness of this level is not entirely a bad thing :-)

3/5 for novelty.

(BTW., thanks for your gracious comments, Fifth. The documentation says these maps were done in four days -- that you got yours out in only two is pretty astonishing!)

MikeTaylor Registered 4 November 2015, 11:08

Red Hatred (retrojam4_skacky) seems to suffer under the impression that if one shambler is good, then twenty shamblers must be twenty times as good. I god-moded once to get out of the first hall, then found a bunch more shamblers teleporting in once I entered the next bit. sigh. I guess I'll start again, on Normal this time. I defy anyone, anywhere to complete this on Nightmare without cheating. It simply can't be done.

skacky Registered 4 November 2015, 12:15

It can. Elgu_ did it, and without taking most powerups. Daz even beat it on Skill 2 without dying once.

MikeTaylor Registered 4 November 2015, 15:54

I am seriously impressed. Are there demos or videos? It's always good to see people who are the best at what they do in action.

Meanwhile, I did finish Red Hatred on Medium, and in fact I also left behind two quads and at least one megahealth -- so perhaps the difficulty problem (if there is one) is that the gap between Medium and Hard is too great?

Anyway, aside from that issue, this is my favourite of the retrojam4 maps so far, with a nice sense of exploration that is often understandably absent in maps that have to be created quickly. I score it 4/5.

MikeTaylor Registered 4 November 2015, 16:37

Cochlear Avulsion (retrojam4_tens, and how do mappers keep coming up with these names?!) is a neat little self-contained map, although a bit anticlimactic once the gold key has been obtained. I missed five of the 55 kills (on Hard), even though I went back and grenaded the death-knights in the slime-trap room -- then again I missed all the secrets, so that might have something to do with it.

Enjoyable but not especially memorable. 3/5.

skacky Registered 4 November 2015, 17:32

MikeTaylor: Elgu's stream, my map starts at 47:25: You can watch Daz's playthrough on his Youtube channel.

Skill 2 is indeed much harder than Skill 1. It has way more Tarbabies and Shamblers and tougher enemies (Knights replaced with Fiends, etc). Players on Skills 2/3 need to look for secrets, play it clever and/or use the available powerups in an efficient way. Going guns blazing will often result in your painful death.

MikeTaylor Registered 5 November 2015, 14:52

The Wretched Alcazar (retrojam4_textfish) may be my favourite of these maps so far. It makes novel and inventive use of an arena, the slime-pit below it and the ledges above it to bring us repeatedly through the same area in different ways. Some of the combats are a bit hairy, but when I discovered the neat way to handle to spawns in the slime, I felt that I'd done something clever -- and it's great when a map can give you that feeling. 4/5.

MikeTaylor Registered 5 November 2015, 16:03

Shotgun Fornication (retrojam4_zwiffle) is small but perfectly formed, a level of only 20 kills on Hard (of which, for some reason, I found only 19). It's over pretty quickly, but has some nice combats. I found the best way to kill the vore up on the battlements is to stand just far enough back that she can see you, but not far enough back that the vore-ball can get past the ledge. Then go and make a cup of tea while she slowly but surely blows herself up. All in all, this is a 3/5 level, simply because there isn't enough of it to merit a higher score.

PuLSaR Registered 5 November 2015, 17:19

Is there gonna be a composite screenshot for this?

adib Registered 5 November 2015, 17:29


I like your reviews, always read them. Come map with us there at Func_!

MikeTaylor Registered 6 November 2015, 11:51

Thanks, adib, I really appreciate that!

I would love to become a mapper myself -- I've toyed semi-seriously with the idea -- but I just don't the time to invest. (I am already a software developer, vertebrate palaeontologist, double blogger, preacher, singer/guitarist, husband, and father to three teenage boys!)

MikeTaylor Registered 10 November 2015, 13:25

Finally, we come to Underworld Basement (retrojam4_ericw). My favourite part of this was the very beginning: a situation that looks like you're being attacked, but which is very much to your advantage if you stop and think for a moment. But after that, it was a bit too frantic for my tastes -- especially the climactic battle, fought against a selection of very high-powered enemies in very cramped circumstances. I did finish with all kills, but I felt like I was doing work rather than playing a game. So all in all, 3/5 for this map.

MikeTaylor Registered 10 November 2015, 13:28

Putting it all together, this was perhaps my least favourite of the map jams (with the exception of the Qonquer one, func_mapjam5). But that's not necessarily a criticism of the maps, and especially not of the mappers: I think they were just aiming for, and mostly hitting, a very intense combat-based style of play that's not a good match for my personal preference. I'm one who likes exploring and taking things slowly. For me, Quake is more about discovery than about fighting. So this pack was just not the right one for me to play. Even with that said, it's well worth three stars, which is what I've awarded it. But I don't expect to come back and replay these maps like I do those in some other jams.

kewlsnake Registered 13 December 2015, 10:34

Thank you for the wonderful maps. It drove home to me how much I hate spawns!

I like the way Elderworld Basement is laid out.

I was terrible at Sandy's Hollow.

I felt scared when playing the Elder God Palace of Despair.

I couldn't really figure out Cochlear Avulsion.

I liked the layout of The Wretched Alcazar.

I quite enjoyed playing through "i have no ammo and i must scream". Very fun!

I liked the layout of Red Hatred but thought it ended up being a bit too monster spawn heavy for me.

I was terrible at Shotgun Fornication.

mmm Registered 1 January 2016, 11:19

Didn't like it. Episode 4's idea of fun is tarbabies in dark corners. That's probably my most hated enemy in the Quake game.

Dymitry Guest 1 January 2016, 12:13

retrojam4ericw: Almost every level I have played after Azure Agony suffered from not enough quad damage; this level actually has too much. Rushed, but fun to play. retrojam4fifth: Easily the best level of the set. Resembles a real release rather than a speedmap. retrojam4pulsar: Amusing, but not really a new level and tedious to play in parts. retrojam4scampie: Unplayable. retrojam4skacky: Horde combat is a bad idea for quickly made levels, especially when trying to be humorous with excessive spawn use. retrojam4tens: An attempt at a real level, hilarious ending, but gameplay testing was nonexistent in parts. retrojam4textfish: The other level that resembles a finished small level. Generic episode 2 look, but plays fine. retrojam4zwiffle: Looks good, gameplay is as tedious as it gets.

Lane Powell Registered 1 January 2016, 22:03

ericw, pulsar, skacky, and scampie all have really good maps in this release. Definitely not for everyone but I love the theme and I love it when mappers get adventurous with gameplay.

dgl33d Registered 16 January 2016, 15:00

A nice collection of maps that are worth playing over and over again!

Rimster Registered 5 April 2016, 7:29

I felt the hatred in Skacky's map. It was brutal but his maps are always my favorite. Loved all the maps as I usually do. Found it funny that textfish's initial secret is punished on zwiffle's map.

Dutch Registered 16 May 2020, 9:10

Each map definitely had an episode 4 vibe to it. Most of the maps could have done with a few less spawns, but there were some areas where they were well placed.

My favorite of the batch was skacky's map, Red Hatred. Nice polish on the geometry, decent level progression. It was brutally hard on skill 2 which I enjoyed. Nice to have a challenge every now and then. I know that's frowned upon in some circles but that's what skill levels are for.

Pulsar's Elder God Shrine of Despair was a total throw-back to episode 4, but with good texturing and geometry. Was neat to see how the layouts and secrets of 3 different vanilla maps blended into one. Would have been really cool if another level took you to Hell's Atrium basement area. Nice job.

Thanks everyone who contributed. Helped me kill some time on a Friday night.

Jugador Registered 6 August 2020, 16:08

I really enjoyed this pack. It captures the essence of E1M4, namely keeping the player on edge with a hostile architecture style, nasty surprises... and lots of spawns.

Jugador Registered 6 August 2020, 16:08

I mean episode 4, not E1M4. Derp.

GenericJohnDoe Registered 17 August 2022, 14:03

@pulsar at the start of the map retrojam4_pulsar i got some sound related errors in the console, on qss and ironwail, vkquake did show similar behaviour but without the errormessages.

Do you or anybody could enlighten me if this is an issue or just an fragment to ignore?

Somethingsomething Call5 453 SomethingSomething PF_Sound: Missing string

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